During an interview this weekend, Governor Romney was asked," Jon Huntsman is considering a race for the White House. Like you, he is a moderate, Mormon, former Governor who believes in anthropogenic global warming. Is there room in the race for both you?" Of course, that question was never asked. Ron Paul and Gary Johnson aren’t asked if there is room for two libertarian Republicans in the race. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are not asked if there is room in the race for two Catholic men who spent time in the House during the 1990s. None of the male candidates are asked if there is room in the race for other candidates who are perceived to be similar.
However, today on FoxNews Sunday, Governor Palin was asked such a question:
Chris Wallace: You would seem to be closest politically of all the candidates to Michele Bachmann, Congresswoman Bachmann. You’re both Tea Party activists. You’re both social conservatives. Is there the room in the race for the two of you, or would you split the same base of voters?
Governor Palin: No, we have differences too. I have many years of executive experience too, and she has her strengths that she will add to the race. There’s certainly room.The more, the merrier. The more competition, the better.
To be sure, Chris Wallace asked several substantive questions on subjects ranging from the debt ceiling to Libya to Medicare reform. However, those strong policy focused issues become diluted when interviewers and journalists bring up such topics. Congresswoman Bachmann herself was questioned similarly, and said that she and Governor Palin were not "interchangeable".
Journalists, pundits, and political opponents like to cast Governor Palin and Congresswoman Bachmann as political clones and that there is not room for them both. Just as Chris Wallace did to Governor Palin, ABC reporter, Jon Karl, recently framed a question to Congresswoman Bachmann in such a way the two women "occupy the same space". Michael Reagan suggested yesterday that Congresswoman Bachmann should step in the race and Governor Palin out of the race, and Charles Krauthammer claimed it was Bachmann’s turn, as if there was some kind of gender quota. As Nicole wrote recently, Romney aides desire for both women to get into the race so that Romney can juxtapose himself against the "crazy women". An aide to one of the male candidates recently stated about Congresswoman Bachmann, " [s]he basically is Sarah Palin. In terms of her appeal to a specific part of the electorate, the two are about as similar as any two candidates get."
Governor Palin has consistently stated that she welcomes competition in the race. It is best for the voters to see the character, experience, and policy stances of all who throw their hats into the ring. While Governor Palin and Congresswoman Bachmann indeed are both women who have Tea Party appeal, their political experience differ. Congresswoman Bachmann has experience in the state and national legislatures. Governor Palin has an executive record at the local and state levels. Those with executive experience have to make sole decisions, approve or veto spending, manage staff, appoint officials, etc. In Governor Palin’s case, as governor of Alaska, she held the second most powerful executive state office in the country based upon budgetary and appointment authority, veto power, and other factors. She had the power of line item veto that could only be overridden by a vote of 75% of the legislature, and she could appoint people to offices like the attorney general, which is an elected office in many other states. Additionally, it has been a hundred and thirty years since a Republican was elected President whose highest elected office was in Congress . Whether it be executive political office or executive military experience, the electorate tends to prefer Republicans with executive experience.
There are no doubt some similarities between Governor Palin and Congresswoman Bachmann, as there are similarities amongst all of the candidates. However, to imply that only one of these women should run for President is not only absurd and sexist, it disrespects the electorate’s ability to make a choice for themselves and distinguish among the candidates. Additionally, the Democrats laughably claims the GOP is "anti-women", yet this election season represents the first time two women from a major party would compete for their party’s presidential nomination. What say you, libs? As Governor Palin has said, "the more, the merrier". Let these women decide their intentions, and let the voters determine their fates.
H/T Rightmom and Nicole